Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New milestones for SLS

NEW ORLEANS -- The first fully-welded Space Launch System core stage propellant tank was recently moved to its proof testing facility at the Michoud Assembly Facility to begin final preparations for the first set of tests. The liquid hydrogen (LH2) qualification tank will be a pathfinder for core stage prime contractor Boeing and NASA to begin validating the newly-assembled core stage hardware, along with the facilities, testing procedures, and analytical models that will help qualify the design and development of the stage for its first flight. The LH2 qualification tank was rolled from the Final Assembly area of Building 103 to Building 451, a test facility at MAF away from the main assembly area, on Dec. 10. (Source: NASA Spaceflight, 01/09/17) In another SLS-related milestone, NASA engineers have completed construction of a test stand 4693, NASA’s largest SLS test stand, at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The stand will be used to ensure SLS’s liquid hydrogen tank can withstand the extreme forces of launch and ascent. (Source: Space Daily, 01/10/17) SLS and Orion will be used on deep-space exploration missions.